TAMMY LEE individually and on behalf of LEE COMMUNICATIONS, INC. Plaintiff
RICHARD H. LUGG Defendant
Attorney For defendant: John branson Esq.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT
case came before the court for trial April 18, 2017.
Plaintiff Tammy Lee represented herself and Defendant Richard
Lugg was represented by John Branson, Esq. Both parties
presented their own testimony and offered exhibits into
close of the Plaintiffs case-in-chief, Defendant Lugg made an
oral motion for judgment that the court took under
advisement. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is
on the entire record, the court hereby makes and adopts the
following findings of fact and conclusions of law and renders
judgment as set forth below.
Plaintiff Tammy Lee is a former resident of Maine and current
resident of California who has worked since 1999 as a public
relations and communications professional, and has an
extensive history of working on significant projects for
major clients. In 2003, she moved to Maine, and in 2004, she
incorporated her business by forming a Maine corporation
called Lee Communications, Inc. Although the business had
several employees during the early 2000's, Ms. Lee
herself was the principal employee as of 2008. In that year,
she went through a divorce and was in the process of selling
the oceanfront home she and her former husband had built.
Defendant Richard H. Lugg is a resident of Maine with
experience in the aviation industry. At all pertinent times,
Mr. Lugg has been chief executive officer of a Delaware
corporation called SonicBlue Aerospace, Inc. [SonicBlue].
Since at least 2008, Mr. Lugg's focus through SonicBlue
has been on promoting the development of a high-efficiency
hybrid jet engine, and specifically on raising capital from
various sources to fund the project. At some point during or
before 2008, SonicBlue was awarded a Maine Technology grant
and Mr. Lugg began recruiting a group of professionals in
various fields to move the project forward.
Lugg's vision for SonicBlue was grand, if not grandiose.
In an e-mail message, Mr. Lugg described SonicBlue as
a company that is going to bring a sea change to the
aerospace propulsion industry with an engine (we do not have
to know exactly what type, class size, etc.) . . . but we
must express the picture to the world, and specifically
investors, that we are the innovators, that we have the core
technologies to do it (superconducting, magnetic bearings,
electric segmentation, electric Brayton cycle) and most
importantly we have the Team (or the very beginnings of a
Team) ... we are really founding the dream Team. We are going
to build ourselves up over time as we raise the capital to be
the experts we need to be to get the job done.
Plaintiffs Ex. 2 (e-mail message Richard Lugg to Tammy Lee
(Dec. 7. 2008)).
the quoted message suggests, SonicBlue's emphasis in 2008
was on raising capital for its project, which existed only in
concept as a "new, next generation subsonic, transonic,
supersonic and/or hypersonic hybrid jet-electric turbine
engine design and prototype." See
Defendant's Ex. 1 at 1. In late 2008, SonicBlue
representatives were traveling to trade shows and other
aerospace industry events to make connections with potential
investors and others.
Although SonicBlue was seeking investors in a variety of
ways, the primary target was an investor (or investor group)
in Dubai who apparently had expressed a willingness to
consider investing several hundred million dollars in
Tammy Lee was introduced to Mr. Lugg by a mutual friend in
2008. They began corresponding in October 2008, and soon Mr.
Lugg asked her to submit a proposal for consulting services.
She did so in November 2008. She was recruited onto the
SonicBlue team by Mr. Lugg to perform public relations,
communications and similar functions, ...